Academics, Campus wide

CSU offers area’s only SEVP-certified IEP course

By Jenna Johnson | January 6, 2022

Non-English speakers in the Lowcountry may better prepare for higher education in the United States through the Intensive English Program (IEP) at Charleston Southern University. Beginning January 10, participants in the program will take 18 hours of instruction per week with additional optional courses to gain better English-speaking skills. 

An IEP serves students who are ready to go to a university but have a lower Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score than is required for general admission. Students may attend for as many as three semesters depending on their level. Upon program completion, students can matriculate into CSU’s academic programs or elsewhere, or enter a career of their choice in an English-speaking country.

As director of the Center for Global Education at CSU, Stephanie LeVan said that the IEP is exactly what the local community needs. “The Charleston region has a diverse population with international residents from every inhabited continent. International students or international residents already here in Charleston can attend the IEP to strengthen their English language fluency before they advance into degree programs at higher education institutions,” she said.

CSU’s IEP is the only university-based SEVP-certified English language program in the Lowcountry that can issue an I-20 for a student visa in the United States. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is a program within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

LeVan said this is an important offering and shared examples of students currently in the IEP: a licensed dentist in her country of origin who would like to take exams in the U.S. for licensure; a prospective student who needs to improve his English scores to be accepted into a university; and a permanent U.S. resident who recently moved into the Charleston region and wants to improve his English.

For additional information about this program or to apply, go to

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